Shop Maine Craft presents:
Bryan Hansen Holiday Trunk Show
A solo exhibition of B Hansen Metals at Maine Craft Portland.
On view December 1 – December 20, 2023
Maine Craft Portland is proud to present a holiday treat of a Trunk Show featuring new releases, archived designs, and fan favorites all from the talented studio of Bryan Hansen. You can read about Bryan’s inspiration, process, and theory behind this collection:
I design all of my work based on the aesthetic qualities that I have always, my whole life, felt almost supernaturally drawn to. Most of these elements come from my childhood where feeling weak and small I often sought power and control over my life. I couldn’t see myself finding this strength in my own being and so thought I might find it in the seemingly benign objects around me; I’d hoped they would offer me a small gift of strength. My jewelry has become a placeholder and an amalgamation of the design elements of these objects.
For that reason I always end up having a very metaphysical relationship with my work where it becomes more than adornment, but companionship. The other form my jewelry sometimes takes is more figurative: either little genderless bodies based on characters that repeat throughout my sketchbooks, various hand poses, or more literal natural elements that were also something I found compelled to collect.
As previously mentioned, I have always had great interest in handleable objects and how they may augment the body. My toys as a child were more often than not tools and weapons and so my college thesis work became a reflection of this interest, taking the form of what appear to be tools or weapons. In the last few years I have thought long and hard about this interest and have been patiently putting the pieces together. In this exploration I believe I have recently found the concrete throughline of my jewelry and art objects nestled in the bowls of my upbringing.
Being raised as a boy in a religious household, there is this expected violence that for some is your only gateway to feeling acceptance and love from those around you. They view this violence as innate and natural. When you act differently than that, you are left on the outside. You may be shunned by your caretakers unless you develop a more appropriate expression of being. You get frowns when you cry or show too much emotion or act in any sort of perceived feminine way. And so you do as they have taught and take up the mantle of their perception of masculinity. This twisted small thing that the people around you make ugly with simplified definitions of power and emotionlessness. You try so hard to be this way in the name of acceptance (and in an attempt to escape eternal damnation). I was coaxed with ideas of familial love and love from an infinitely forgiving and all knowing creator but was always baffled to find that if I didn’t fit my role as “boy” I would not receive this love. In my newest work, I use religious motifs to explore this expected violence, and these broken ideas of what masculinity is. In some pieces I recreate especially dire narratives from the bible in an attempt to unravel my own religious trauma. This is the direction my work will continue to go for the foreseeable future as I attempt to understand this expected violence and conditional love.